Goat Ricotta Cheese and Pine Nut Stuffed Baby Zucchini

Goat Ricotta Cheese and Pine Nut Stuffed Baby Zucchini Recipe

I typically serve stuffed zucchini as a side dish. It is very similar to my eggplant rollup recipe. It's very creamy and hearty and is a great accompaniment to red meat, such as a steak or some lamb chops.

What I love most about this dish is that it looks very healthy. But appearances can be deceiving. The green zucchini is the perfect cover for all the cheese and pine nuts that are stuffed inside. It may not be that good for you, but it surely is good. If you still feel guilty after eating this or any other of my recipes, do what the French do: chase after a bus, a train or a metro. I did this for the first 24 years of my life. If that's not possible, you can always go for a walk.




Yields: 8 servings

8 baby zucchini
1-1/4 cups goat ricotta cheese
2 Tbs heavy cream
3/4 tsp soy liquid lecithin
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
8 Tbs pine nuts, slightly toasted, + extra for garnish
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese , shredded
1-1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white peppercorns, freshly ground
1/2 cup parmesan cheese powder
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 Tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 dry red chili, stemmed
2 tsp butter, melted


Stem the zucchini. Slice them lengthwise in half. Fill a pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil. Place a steamer basket in the pot. Add the zucchini to the basket. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 5-8 minutes, (make sure there is enough water to prevent the bottom from burning). The flesh should still be a little firm as the zucchini will finish cooking in the oven. Pat dry with a paper towel. Using a melon baller or a spoon, carve out the seeds of the zucchini and create a deep cavity. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a saucepan, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the dry red chili. As soon as the oil is infused, remove and discard the chili and reserve about 2 teaspoons of the oil. Cook the shallot in the remaining oil until it is slightly golden. Add the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes, then add the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

In a mixing bowl, soften the goat ricotta cheese with heavy cream and liquid lecithin until you get a smooth paste-like consistency. Season with garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix in 2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley, about 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of parmesan.

Spoon a generous amount of the goat ricotta cheese mixture in each baby zucchini.

Brush a thin layer of butter in a casserole dish. Add the tomato sauce. Place the stuffed baby zucchini on the tomato sauce. Finish by sprinkling the rest of the mozzarella cheese and powdered parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Immediately drizzle the rest of the chili-flavored olive oil. Finish with some toasted pine nuts and flat leaf parsley.

Bon appétit!


I use liquid lecithin as an egg yolk substitute. You can find this online or in any specialty food store like Whole Foods. Before using a measuring soon, make sure to oil spray it before.

I finely chop a chunk of parmesan and place the pieces in a mini food processor to obtain parmesan powder.

If you don't own a steamer basket, you can use a metal colander. What I like about steamer baskets is that they are adjustable and fit most pots and pans. 

If you can't find goat ricotta cheese, you can replace it with regular whole milk ricotta cheese.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on June 3, 2009.


[-] Geez - Guest-JessicaFoodmayhem
Every dish you make looks beautiful!

Jessica@Foodmayhem Website Link
[ Posted at 5:34 AM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
I love the stuffed sounds so tasty and delicious. Great recipe

Sylvia Website Link
[ Posted at 5:53 AM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
[-] DELICIOUS! - Guest-elra
I love stuffed vegetables, Summer is perfect for this kind of cooking. Your Zuke stuffed with different kind of cheese look so tempting. Really delicious looking Pham!

elra Website Link
[ Posted at 7:22 AM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
[-] Food Lovers Like Me - Guest-FoodLover
Wow--this dish looks AMAZING! Can't wait to try it:)

Food Lover Website Link
[ Posted at 8:19 AM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
[-] YAY for Goat's ricotta - Guest-Marta
This cheese is so increadible! it's apity it isn't more readily available in Canada!
Perfect dish for summer, a nice first course or a lovely light dinner!

Marta Website Link
[ Posted at 8:49 AM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
This sounds soooo delicious! And one can pretend that it is totally healthy as well as it certainly looks wholesome.
[ Posted at 10:41 AM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]

@Jessica: Thank you. You're so sweet

@Sylvia: You can basically use the same filling for other veggies like bell peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, etc...

@elra, Food Lover & Shari: Another idea is to use your barbeque grill. Place all the stuffed zucchini in a vegetable basket. Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil or wrap all the zucchini in a sheet of aluminum foil papillote-style (if you don't own a vegetable basket). Place on the grill and let it cook for about 20 minutes.

@Marta: I wonder what the laws around shipping dairy to Canada are, I bet you can find it online.

[ Posted at 10:46 AM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
wow! it does look healthy but I know with all that good fat, it isn't totally! who cares though cause it looks low carb and that counts! I've never used liquid soy lecithin before...I'll have to go looking

cakebrain Website Link
[ Posted at 12:46 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]

@CakeBrain: You can add 2 whole eggs to the goat cheese ricotta mixture but the vegetarians in the house find the "egg-y" taste unpleasant. Otherwise, you can use powdered lecithin or liquid lecithin that I find much more convenient to mix.

[ Posted at 1:19 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
Great presentation. This looks like something we'd love.

The Duo Dishes Website Link
[ Posted at 1:32 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]

I've received several questions about this product. I live in the Bay Area and am quite lucky to have a wide variety of great produce. I got my goat ricotta cheese at the Milk Pail Market, 2585 California Street, Mountain View, CA 94040. You can also try Crossroads World Market, 720 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Hope this helps!

[ Posted at 1:33 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
[-] Big Red Kitchen - Guest-RobinSue
Hi Jackie,
Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday. You have wonderful blog here and I love your photos, they are so good! I will have to look around at your great recipes.

RobinSue Website Link
[ Posted at 4:03 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
This sounds absolutely incredible.. and yourphotos are amazing. I am so so glad you stopped by my blog, it led me back to you.

Donna Website Link
[ Posted at 4:37 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
[-] Goat CHEESE!!! - Guest-Sophia
you can serve me pig snouts with goat's cheese on them and I'll eat it! LOVE goat's cheese...but in a zucchini boat with pine nuts...oh, be still my heart!

Sophia Website Link
[ Posted at 5:45 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
These not only look extremely tasty but beautiful too.

Pam Website Link
[ Posted at 6:03 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
[-] cheffresco - Guest-cheffresco
Wow Jackie! These look so amazing, healthy or not!

cheffresco Website Link
[ Posted at 6:17 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
[-] wow - Guest-rebeccasubbiah
wow great site you grew up in paris I adore that city and I am also married to an Indian ! will look forward to learning recipes from you, oh and vietnamese food rocks, lol Rebecca

rebecca subbiah Website Link
[ Posted at 6:49 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
This is a gorgeous stuffed zucchini! The goat cheese stuffing sounds incredible. A question about lecithin - I've been using the granules but was thinking of getting the liquid. Have you used the granules and if so what do you think about the granules vs. liquid? I also wanted to get the powder but that doesn't seem to be available unless ordering online.

Natasha - 5 Star Foodie Website Link
[ Posted at 6:55 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
this is yummy! i'm liking all the ingredients, especially ricotta cheese mmmm x

diva Website Link
[ Posted at 8:22 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
[-] lecithin, etc - Jackie

@ RobinSue, Donna: I love meeting new people on the web. Isn't the internet so great... How else could I get in touch with fellow food lovers all over the world? :)

@Sophia, Pam, Diva: Thank you so much for your kind words I appreciate it.

@Cheffresco: Michael, I really appreciate your daily comments. Btw, iI really enjoyed your red snapper tacos yesterday.

@ Rebecca Subbiah: I agree. Indian and Vietnamese cuisines rock. :P More seriously, I read your post about chana dhal, it's very hearty and the bean combination is perfect for a vegetarian diet. mmm curry!

@Natasha: I have used the granules. I really prefer the liquid lecithin. It's typically used as an emulsifier and it mixes much easier as a liquid. I used to grind the granules down in a mortar and pestle and it would work to a certain extend. I really recommend the liquid version; the granules would always end up with a few solids chunks in the baked goods.
[ Posted at 8:42 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
The stuffed zucchini look great. I like how you point out that they only LOOK healthy :) The egg yolk substitute is an interesting touch, I'll have to try it sometime.

Fearless Kitchen Website Link
[ Posted at 8:42 PM on 6/3/09 | Reply ]
Hehe even though it may not be as healthy as it looks, it looks like it is worth every single calorie! :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella Website Link
[ Posted at 1:21 AM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
That dish looks and sounds really good! A wonderful dish for the warmer days!



Rosa Website Link
[ Posted at 2:27 AM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
MMMMM...looks excellent: I prefer sheeps milk ricotta instead of goat's.Looks really delicious! Yummie!

Sophie Website Link
[ Posted at 3:57 AM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
I've never heard of this product. Does it taste milder than goat ricotta?
[ Posted at 4:07 AM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
oh man, this looks so good! I love the addition of pine nuts. Wonderful!

zoe Website Link
[ Posted at 4:53 AM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
[-] Many Adventures of Tavolini - Guest-Tavolini
oooh, now this looks FANTASTIC!! I've never used lecithin before--thanks for introducing me to a new ingredient :)

Tavolini Website Link
[ Posted at 5:23 AM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
[-] I Wonder - Guest-nick
If my father will let me pick any of his baby zucchinis. I always want to pull off the blossoms and tempura fry them, but he never lets me.

Perhaps if I let them get just a bit bigger and show him your picture, I could convince him!

nick Website Link
[ Posted at 6:00 AM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
This looks amazing - I'll have to try it out! Your food photos are gorgeous.

Megan Website Link
[ Posted at 6:46 AM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
[-] Goat Ricotta Cheese and Pine Nut Stuffed Baby Zucchini - Guest-HollyTheHealthyEverythingtarian
This looks amazing!

I love the melding of cultures! I am a huge traveler, and recently spent a year teaching in Southeast Asia, although I didn't make it to Vietnam :(

Love your blog!

Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian) Website Link
[ Posted at 7:10 AM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
[-] Asia - Jackie
Lucky girl! Hope you had a blast. Tropical fruits are sooooo good over there. That's probably what I miss the most.
[ Posted at 12:40 PM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
Oh Yum! I like veggies that appear healthy but are really covered in the good stuff. I'm just like a 3 year old who has to be tricked into eating my greens!

Culinary Wannabe Website Link
[ Posted at 9:00 AM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]
[-] , - Guest-SimplyHeavenFood
Hi Jackie!
Your food looks delicious!!!!!

SimplyHeavenFood Website Link
[ Posted at 3:14 PM on 6/4/09 | Reply ]

Order my latest book:
Banh Mi

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